Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Vincent Butterfield

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11Missouri First Grader Shaves Head In Honor Of Friend With Cancer (Video)

A Missouri first grader recently revealed the true meaning of friendship when he shaved off all his hair in honor of his friend with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Vincent Butterfield and Zac Gossage, first graders at Central Elementary in Union, Mo., are the best of friends and like to joke around often, KSDK reported.

"Why does the chicken cross the playground?" Butterfield joked. "To get to the other slide!"

But last June, after weeks of feeling ill and tired, Gossage had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells.

"As a parent, you want to make sure nothing bad ever happens to your child and when something does you want to be able to fix it," said Stacy Tooley, Gossage's mom. "And I couldn't."

Butterfield knew about his friend’s illness, so he began to ask questions and learn about cancer.

"It's when you're white blood cells and your red blood cells fight," he said.

He found out that Gossage’s treatments would be expensive.

"We had been making these scarves and he just kind of said it would be cool if we could make a whole bunch of these and sell them," said Butterfield's mom, Karen.

Butterfield raised $200 by selling more than 20 scarves. But when he also learned that Gossage would lose his hair due to chemotherapy treatments, Butterfield came to class wearing a stocking cap.

"And he said, 'Mrs. Koester I have a surprise for Zac.' And I said, 'Well, you do, yes I do.' And he pulls off his stocking cap and here I see that he shaved his head," said first grade teacher Adrienne Koester.

"I cut it off to make Zac feel like he's not the only one without any hair," said Butterfield.

Gossage’s treatments continue and he almost never misses a day of school.

"Because I get to play with Vincent outside at recess," he said.

When asked by a reporter what friendship is, Butterfield said, “A beautiful thing.”


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